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1636. Protection Of Government Property -- Personalty

Section 641 of Title 18 attempts to reach all possible offenses involving the loss or misuse of government property. As the Supreme Court noted in Morissette v. United States, 342 U.S. 246, 271 (1952):

What has concerned codifiers of [18 U.S.C. § 641] is that gaps or crevices have separated particular crimes of this general class and guilty men have escaped through the breaches. The books contain a surfeit of cases drawing fine distinctions between slightly different circumstances under which one may obtain wrongful advantages from another's property. The codifiers wanted to reach all such instances.

Section 641 of Title 18 is the principal statutory weapon aimed at the protection of government property. The following sections outline the offenses encompassed by 18 U.S.C. § 641, their elements, and their proof.

[cited in JM 9-66.200]

Updated January 17, 2020